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Jamie founded Listverse due to an insatiable desire to share fascinating, obscure, and bizarre facts. He has been a guest speaker on numerous national radio and television stations and is a five time published author.More About Us
Another 10 Evil Men
In 2007, we published our first list of evil men and followed it up shortly afterwards with a list of evil women. The list of women had a sequel the following year, but for some reason we never got around to writing a second list of evil men (though there were many suggested in the comments); we even had a popular “your view” topic on the subject which got 488 comments. So, finally, here is our second list of evil men.
Nero used the office of emperor to suit his desire for an opulent lifestyle, and had absolutely no care for the welfare of the people. He never trusted his mother, Agrippina (and rightly so), and tried to kill her by having her ship sunk. This didn’t work, and he simply ordered her executed. He routinely executed anyone close to him whom he did not trust, always under mysterious circumstances, because he feared the Praetorian Guard.
He managed to reign for 15 years in this way, killing anyone who dissented. He was accused of treason beginning in 62, and simply executed the accusers, several dozen of them. He loved to go to bars and whorehouses, not even disguising himself.
The Great Fire of Rome, in 64, has given rise to the legend that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. This is not true. He was away in Antium (Anzio), and returned to Rome to try to have the fire put out. He even paid for this out of his own pocket.
He did help out the survivors tremendously, letting them stay in the palace until homes were rebuilt, feeding them, etc. But the fire largely destroyed the city center, and Nero had a large part of this destruction rebuilt as his Domus Aurea. This was his gift to himself, a gigantic palatial garden complex of 100 to 300 acres, for which he heavily taxed the citizens throughout the Empire.
The city wanted a scapegoat, so Nero blamed the fire on the Christians, and they were terribly persecuted. He had many arrested, impaled, and burned to death as torches to light his gardens in the Domus Aurea. He is said to have breathed in the stench and laughed heartily, then turned to his lyre and sung his own songs.
The taxes irritated the populace sufficiently to begin revolts in various provinces, until, by 68, Nero was no longer loved, but hated by all. His Guards deserted him in the palace, and he fled to a nearby villa, where a messenger appeared to tell him that the Senate had declared him a public enemy, whom they would beat to death. He had a grave dug, while he repeated, “What an artist dies within me!”
Then he stabbed a dagger into his throat and bled to death. It is believed by most scholars that Nero is the Great Beast, whose number is six hundred and sixty six, referred to in the last Biblical book, The Apocalypse. [Source]
Luis Garavito is a Colombian serial killer who raped and killed 138–300+ young boys. The victims were peasant children, or street children, between the ages of 6 and 16. Garavito approached them on the street or countryside and offered them gifts or small amounts of money. After gaining their trust, he took the children for a walk and when they got tired, he would rape them, cut their throats, and usually dismember their corpses. Most corpses showed signs of torture.
Garavito was captured on 22 April, 1999. He confessed to murdering 140 children. However, he is still under investigation for the murder of 172 children in more than 59 counties in Colombia. He was found guilty in 138 of the 172 cases; the others are ongoing. The sentences for these 138 cases add to 1,853 years and 9 days. Because of Colombian law restrictions, however, he cannot be imprisoned for more than 30 years. In addition, because he helped the authorities in finding the bodies, his sentence has been decreased to 22 years. Garavito is considered the worst serial killer in history for having a higher death toll than any other (though a lower proven death toll than British killer Harold Shipman).
Jean-Bédel Bokassa was the military ruler of the Central African Republic from 1 January, 1966, and the Emperor of the Central African Empire from 4 December, 1976, until he was overthrown on 20 September, 1979. He is often called the “cannibal emperor” because he was said to engage in cannibalism. Most notably, he was involved in the massacre of school children. He was arrested and charged with torture, murder and cannibalism. Convicted of murdering several political opponents, Bokassa was sentenced to death, but that was later commuted to life in prison. He was later released in a general amnesty, and died of a heart attack in 1996, aged 75.
The Cromwellian conquest of Ireland (1649–53) refers to the re-conquest of Ireland by the forces of the English Parliament, led by Oliver Cromwell, during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The consequence of this conquest (in order to displace Catholic authority) was 200,000 civilian deaths from war-related famine and disease, and 50 thousand Irish being taken as slaves. Cromwell considered Catholics to be heretics, so the Irish conquest was a modern day Crusade for him.
The bitterness caused by the Cromwellian settlement was a powerful source of Irish nationalism from the 17th century onwards. He died in 1658, and was so hated that, in 1661, he was exhumed from the grave and given a posthumous execution – his corpse was hung in chains at Tyburn, and he was later dismembered and his remains thrown into a pit, with his head being displayed on a pole outside Westminster Hall for the next twenty-four years.
Ishii was a microbiologist and the lieutenant general of Unit 731, a biological warfare unit of the Imperial Japanese Army, during the Second Sino-Japanese War. He was born in the former Shibayama Village of Sanbu District in Chiba Prefecture, and studied medicine at Kyoto Imperial University. In 1932, he began his preliminary experiments in biological warfare as a secret project for the Japanese military. In 1936, Unit 731 was formed. Ishii built a huge compound — more than 150 buildings over six square kilometers — outside the city of Harbin, China.
Some of the numerous atrocities committed by Ishii, and others under his command in Unit 731, include: vivisection of living people (including pregnant women who were impregnated by the doctors), prisoners had limbs amputated and reattached to other parts of their body, some prisoners had parts of their bodies frozen and thawed to study the resulting untreated gangrene. Humans were also used as living test cases for grenades and flame throwers. Prisoners were injected with inoculations of disease, disguised as vaccinations, to study their effects. To study the effects of untreated venereal diseases, male and female prisoners were deliberately infected with syphilis and gonorrhea via rape, then studied. Having been granted immunity by the American Occupation Authorities at the end of the war, Ishii never spent any time in jail for his crimes, and died at the age of 67, of throat cancer.
Osama Bin Laden is the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks. Osama Bin Laden, 51, has also been indicted over the 1998 embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. There is an almost $50 million reward on his head. His most likely whereabouts are thought to be around the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. US intelligence officials believe that he no longer uses a cell phone, in order to remain hidden. There has been some speculation that he was killed by military fire, but that the Taliban are keeping it secret in order to continue using him as a figurehead.
Mao Zedong led the Communist Party of China to victory in the Chinese Civil War, helping to establish the People’s Republic of China. He had ambitions for a strong China, but his programs largely failed. He has been blamed for the death of between 20 and 67 million of his “comrades”. Under his insane rule there was a culture akin to anarchy, that killed the economy and industrial production. His “Great Leap Forward” triggered a catastrophic and massive famine. However, he is most notorious for the precepts of the “Cultural Revolution”, which led to perhaps the greatest era of cultural vandalism the world has ever known. Antiques, historical sites, artifacts, ancient documents, feng shui traditions, Chinese traditional dresses and monasteries were destroyed for being associated with the “old ways of thinking”. Many copies of the Qu’ran were burnt. Red Guard groups around the country destroyed political and educational stability, criticizing anyone who considered himself superior, destroying reputations and lives. Mao, privately, led a life of great deviancy and excess. He also exacted revenge on all those, mainly intellectuals and professionals, who had disgraced him in his earlier career. He also targeted anyone with links to the Chinese Nationalist Party, as well as anyone who posed a threat to him. Under his reign, five million were executed in death camps, and 36 million were persecuted and tortured.
Kim Jong-Il is the de facto leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and responsible for the deaths of four million of his fellow Koreans. He is also at the heart of a bizarre personality cult; apocryphal stories such as how “at the time of his birth, there were flashes of lightening and thunder, the iceberg in the pond on Mt. Paektu emitted a mysterious sound as it broke, and bright double rainbows rose up” are abundant. Those caught stealing food in the famine-struck nation, or attempting to cross the borders, are subject to public execution. Kim is continuing his lavish lifestyle and military obsession in spite of the crumbling economy. In North Korea, he and his father are deified, considered saviors of the whole universe. 250,000 dissidents are confined to “re-education camps”. He has waged a war on South Korea that involved assassinating South Korean leaders and blowing up South Korean planes. He presents a great threat to the world in terms of nuclear warfare, having persuaded the Soviet Union to award him a nuclear reactor in 1984.
Heinrich Himmler was the architect of the holocaust, and considered to be the worst mass murderer by some (although Josef Stalin really holds that title). The holocaust would not have happened if not for this man. He tried to breed a master race of Nordic appearance, the Aryan race. His plans for racial purity were ended by Hitler’s vanity, in making rash military decisions rather than letting his generals make them, thus ending the war prematurely. Himmler was captured after the war. He unsuccessfully tried to negotiate with the west, and was genuinely shocked to be treated as a criminal upon capture. He committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule.
“Little Boots” took the throne on the death of his second cousin, Tiberius, something of a great Uncle to him. Some say Caligula ordered the head of the Praetorian Guard to smother him with a pillow. Upon his ascension, everyone in the Empire rejoiced. For the first seven months or so, he was loved by all. He paid handsome bonuses to the military, to get them on his side, and recalled many whom Augustus and Tiberius exiled.
But he became very sick in October of 37, of a mysterious illness. Philo blames it on his extravagant lifestyle of too much food, wine and sex. After the disease passed and Caligula made a full recovery, he had turned into one of the most evil men in human history. He has been accused of the most disgusting, insane, luridly depraved crimes.
He began ordering the murders of anyone who had ever crossed him, or even disagreed with him on mundane matters. He had a very good memory. He exiled his own wife, and proclaimed himself a god, dressing up as Apollo, Venus (a goddess), Mercury and Hercules. He demanded that everyone, from senators to Guards to guests and public crowds, refer to him as divine in his presence.
When he was a boy, a seer told him that he would never be emperor until he walked on water. So, he built a pontoon bridge across the Bay of Naples, put on the breastplate of Alexander the Great, and paraded night and day across the Bay, throwing lavish sex orgies in the light of bonfires.
He attempted to instate his favorite horse, Incitatus (“Galloper”), as a priest and consul, and ordered a beautiful marble stable built for him, complete with chairs and couches, on which Incitatus never sat.
Once, at the Circus Maximus, the games ran out of criminals, and the next event was the lions, his favorite. He ordered his Guards to drag the first five rows of spectators into the arena, which they did. These hundreds of people were all devoured for his amusement.
A citizen once insulted him to his face in a fit of rage, and Caligula responded by having him tied down and beaten with heavy chains. He made this last for 3 months, having the man brought out from a dungeon and beaten, until Caligula and the whole crowds that gathered were too offended by the smell of the man’s gangrenous brain, whereupon he was beheaded.
Caligula’s favorite torture was sawing, which topped another list on this site. The sawblade filleted the spine and spinal cord from crotch down to chest, and the victim was unable to pass out due to excess blood to the brain.He also relished chewing up the testicles of victims, without biting them off, while they were restrained upside down before him.He had another insulter, and his entire family, publicly executed one after another in front of a crowd. The man and wife were first, followed by the oldest child and so on. The crowd became outraged and began to disperse, but many stayed in morbid fascination. The last of the family was a 12 year old girl, who was sobbing hysterically at what she had been forced to watch. A member of the crowd shouted that she was exempt from execution as a virgin. Caligula smiled and ordered the executioner to rape her, then strangle her, which he did. He publicly had sex with his three sisters at banquets and games, sometimes on the table amid the food. He was finally murdered by the Praetorian Guard and some senators, leaving the Circus Maximus after the games. His body was left in the street to rot, and dogs finally ate it. He had ruled for 4 years. [Source]